Dragon Herding

I have one of the toughest jobs around. I herd dragons. Believe me that is one tough job. If you ever watched “How to Train your Dragon” or a Harry Potter movie, you know what I’m talking about.

Dragons are naturally rambunctious critters. They fly around when you want them to stay put, sort of like three-year-old children. They fight over who has the shiniest coat and who has the biggest fangs. When they start flame-throwing contests, you’d better hide or at least run for your flame-retardant suit. NASCAR doesn’t own enough suits to keep me supplied. Have you ever tried to lift a fire extinguisher large enough to douse a dragon’s belch? Not easy, I tell you.

If you think that’s bad, you should see them when they begin imbibing. They don’t care whose beer they steal as long as there is plenty of it. If there aren’t enough beer barrels to go around, the dragons begin rioting. They’re fussing and fighting and throwing flames all over the place. That’s when you have to try to herd them back to their gigantic dragon corrals. Herding sober dragons is hard enough, but when they’re drunk. . . . They fall all over the place, singe each other’s wings, and roar loud enough to be heard across the ocean.

On top of that they don’t like to sort themselves out by type and color. That’s something I must do because dragon aficionados, just like horse owners, have their favorite breeds and colors. One problem is that big black dragons don’t want to associate with small green ones or middle size blue ones, but at the same time they don’t want to be separated. They want to mingle so they can fight when they feel like it. One dragon has been in so many fights that he no longer has any hide left. However, that hasn’t stopped him. He’s still in there biting, kicking, snarling and throwing flames.

Thankfully, I have assistants that help. Fairies fly around the rowdy dragons and attempt magic spells to calm them. Sometimes it works, but occasionally even fairy magic isn’t enough. Unicorns assist with round-ups to prepare the dragons for sale. The unicorns surround the dragons, separate them by breed and color, then escort them into their separate corrals. These magical creatures do their best, but even when the dragons are compliant, unicorn magic doesn’t always work. It only takes one hyper-active dragon who skipped his tranquilizer hay to start a ruckus. Then away we go again.

This is a never ending job. Talk about stressful. My doctor keeps telling me to get a quieter job. I suppose she’s right. But – believe me dragon herders are paid extremely well and get excellent benefits. For example, no other company can touch our medical and life insurance plans.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my flight of fancy. In reality I work in the Pot o’ Gold Magic Shop at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Working with magical creatures all day can stimulate fanciful ideas.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, June 8, 2015

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of “Twins! Oh no!,” one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Step off the cliff

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,

but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson

 Some of us have lived several decades, others only a few years. Most of us have regrets. Some allow those regrets to shape our lives. Others have allowed “words of wisdom” to forever shape our lives and our futures.

Those thoughts have influenced our decisions, sometimes for good or bad. My dad used to say, “Once you are in debt, you are always in debt.” That was his experience. However, after his retirement he and my mom sold their tiny house and moved into a low-income senior community. They paid all their bills and paid cash for their first new car. They were able to take a few budget vacations and live more comfortably. While their life seemed Spartan to others, it was good for them. Retirement allowed them to make a new beginning.

A few years ago a relative I hadn’t seen for many years made contact. While reconnecting was a joyful experience, I couldn’t help feeling sad for her. During that and subsequent conversations, she stated firmly, “—- has always been this way and will always be this way.” She had experienced unpleasant events and was filled with anger.

She was convinced that since these situations had been her past, they would be her future, not allowing new experiences to come into her life. The last time I saw her, another disaster had befallen her family and she was bowed under the weight of more responsibility. I hope that the fairies will clean her window so she can see a brighter future.

Life was similar for me for years. I saw life as one crisis after another with little happiness between. Even joyful events seemed to have time limits. However, something within me, encouraged me to take a risk and another and another. Some brought me a measure of joy, some brought painful lessons. Yet . . . .

The past 15 years have shown me that lasting change is not events, but thoughts. We can choose to feel trapped or to see a path leading into a sunnier future. Not all my choices have turned out as I wished, but they all led me forward. This last year I’ve faced several minor health crises that initially made me feel afraid. However, as I proceeded through diagnoses and treatments, I saw that each crisis resolved a long standing health issue allowing me to move forward with more energy and enthusiasm.

For example, a few weeks ago I saw a podiatrist for an ingrown toe nail. She provided standard treatment and asked a few questions. She then added a pad to my arch support that allows me to stand straighter. Not only is my toe healing without stress, but also my steps are straighter and more sure. No more wobbling. No more fear of falling.

Last evening during meditation my guides took me on a trip. The details aren’t important. The lesson is. They showed me is that it is safe to step off a cliff, metaphorically speaking. If I’m brave enough to take that next step, adventure and joy will follow. Just as my health issues are resolving themselves day by day, my courage can also grow if I let it. When my courage grows, my joy will grow.

Creator Spirit,

Thank you for these lessons, even those that come with bumps and bruises. Each lesson brings us closer to learning that peace, love and joy is all there is. You are showing us that we can only experience the best life has to offer – if we are brave enough to take that next step, whatever it might be. Open our windows to the world and show us that our past does not have to be our future.

And so it is.

© by Sharon D. Dillon, January 29, 2015

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com